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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
Devil's Due
(2003-2007)
Dreamwave
(2002-2004)
Club/Con
(2001-now)
Titan Books
(2001-now)
Marvel Comics
(1984-1994)
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and Titles

CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING

The New Avengers/Transformera #1 (of 4)
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek

Issue Review

Avengers Attack!

The bulk of crossover comics involving Transformers -- mostly with GI Joe -- are staggeringly bad. Ancient Relics is fun, the last two Devil's Due Joe crossovers have been entertainingly daft but the rest are as entertaining as a Jodie Marsh reality show. Sadly, Man and Machine does not buck this trend.

Plotwise, it's identical to 98% of these crossovers, the heroes meet and have a misunderstanding and fight (before no doubt realizing their mistake next issue). Deeply dull and padded out with an uninteresting sequence of the Avengers wandering down a hall of mirrors whist Spider-Man talks like a cock. Hopefully Megatron will dissect him before they can rescue him.

Art wise things are very mediocre, along with the odd chins the Autobots are sprouting, Wolverine seeming to have borrowed J-Lo's arse, and Optimus Prime doing a Pat Lee pose on the splash page. Tellingly the pre-publicity has focused more on the cover artists than the chap actually drawing the comic, with good reason it would seem.

All in all, the rubbishness of this can be summed up by Prime calling Wheeljack "'Jack" at one point. Frankly, a crossover with Steed and Mrs. Peel would have been more fun...

Notes

For The Transformers, this purports to take place between Infiltration and Escalation, whilst it's between Breakout and Sentry for the Marvel heroes. All the pre-publicity has emphasized that this is "canon" is for both franchises, but at the moment this seems... dubious. For starters, it looks like overkill on Megatron's part to be setting up both the aggression plot seen here and the facsimile business we see in Escalation at the same time. Also, there doesn't seem to have been any contact between the Autobots and Decepticons between the two mini's. Prime's attitude towards Earth authorities is also drastically different here. Compare how he attempts to explain himself and his mission to Captain America to his attitude of keeping the humans out of it even when they're next to the fighting in Escalation. Not to mention on a more general note, Verity's initial refusal to believe in aliens in Infiltration seems silly if they're supposed to be living in the Marvel Universe where there's buggers of the things. This isn't going in goofs yet as it's early days yet and they may well come up with a contrived way of tying it all together, but if they don't expect this paragraph to be referenced later (but till then, these reviews will be assuming this is set in the main IDW Universe). There's no mention of placement within the issue itself. And speaking of canon; Spider Man previously meets the Marvel version of the Transformers in US#3. This is being ignored here due to the different continuities (apparently the main Spider-Man comics retconned the meeting out some time ago anyway, with Peter Parker claiming he's never been to Oregon in one issue). At one point Captain America claims not to recognize the type of jet making the raids on Symkaria, so despite the blue colour scheme it's presumably not supposed to be Thundercracker who's already in his Earth mode by this point. Where each New Avenger first appears we get a box giving their name, secret identity and special powers, the Autobots just get a name box (whilst Megatron has to introduce himself). The introductory text page uses the silver version of the Autobot logo from the 2007 Movie posters.

Both Symkaria and Latveria are stock made up countries from the Marvel Universe. The (so far off-screen) involvement of Latveria's dictator, Doctor Doom, is presumably due to his presence in the Fantastic 4 sequel, effectively tying this comic into two of the summer's Big Movies. Stuart Moore's most recognizable writing credit is probably for Justice League Adventures. This is the first Transformers title to be published by Marvel since issue 12 of the Generation 2 comic back in 1994. IDW also get their logo on the cover and a thanks on the credits page, but don't seem to have actually been involved in the production of the comic beyond giving some advice on how it can tie into their own titles.

Goofs

S.H.I.E.L.D's cunning plan to stop the war: Have the New Avengers walk around a strange building in Latveria on the off-chance Doctor Doom is in it. Why not just have them blow up the base launching the jets?

When we have the group shot of the Autobots in shadow, Jazz is taller than Optimus Prime.

On one panel Prime claims that what they're seeing is a new tactic for Megatron, then Prowl claims "He's right, it's their usual strategy."

The Autobots have blue-framed speech bubbles; in Infiltration, they were red. Which is what Megatron has here despite the Decepticons having purple ones in the first IDW comic. Mind, they'd dropped the colours by Escalation, so perhaps there's a exciting missing adventure where everyone’s voice changes and this is in the middle of it (or it is simply taking its cue from faction colour schemes used for the 2007 Movie merchandise? –ziggy).

Wolverine's reaction upon hearing a voice coming from a cab is to shout "A talking truck!", rather than just assuming there's a microphone relaying the words of the person inside.

Why doesn't Prime just have his simulacrum talk for him rather than reveal himself? He could probably make it in the form of a US General and order the Avengers out of there.

On the splash page the Autobots have Jimmy Hill chins. Ratchet is the only one bothering to look at the Avengers, everyone else is staring off in different directions. Even Prime, who's doing the talking, seems to be looking behind them.

Quote/Unquote

Luke Cage: Doom's Robot army. Someone did a full drive-by on 'em...
Spider-Man: in their own 'Hood. What? I can talk "Street".

Wolverine: That's the second time [Captain America's] told me to shut up. If it happens a third time we've got a problem.

Megatron: Merely a crude prototype... But sufficient to reduce all humans in the vicinity to the mindless clawing animals you truly are.

 
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